The most important piece of roofing advice for owners of commercial and residential property is this: if you spot a roof problem, have it fixed as soon as possible. Waiting to repair damage to your roof can eventually cost thousands of dollars and result in serious long-term problems. Putting off repairs may appear to be saving you money at first, but it’s really not. You will have to pay at some point, and you will be paying a whole lot more than if you dealt with the issues quickly.
The problem is that busy homeowners are often tempted to dismiss issues that appear to be minor. If a problem doesn’t seem to need immediate attention, it’s often easier to move it to the back burner for solving later. When you apply this approach to roofing repair, you will find that even small issues tend to worsen to catastrophic proportions and sometimes overnight. A single storm can turn a tiny roof-leak into a big one. What starts as mildly annoying can progress to major structural damage in a startlingly short period.
For example, something as apparently minor as a missing shingle can wind up causing water damage to the decking under the shingles. Once that happens, you will be spending a lot more money on roof repairs than if you had simply replaced the shingle early on.
How Roof Problems Affect the Rest of Your Home
The thing about roof problems is that they don’t remain in your roof. Your roof covers your entire home so that an issue there can work its way into all other areas. A leak can result in stained ceilings and bubbling paint on your walls. It can cause fires because of water coming into contact with wiring in your ceilings and walls.
Once your roof has developed a small leak, it won’t spontaneously stop leaking. A small leak can grow into a big one, but it won’t get smaller or go away. It will continue until you fix it.
The health issues and safety hazards that can come from a roof leak are numerous and include:
Mold and Mildew
Wet insulation can harbor mold. If other parts of your roof and walls are saturated, that can cause mold growth too. Allergens like mold and mildew can contaminate indoor air. The spores get into your HVAC system and then move throughout your home. Mold and mildew can make people in your household or employees in your business sick.
Water on your floor from a roof leak can present a slipping hazard, which can result in a huge liability in commercial buildings.
Soaked Ceiling Tiles
Ceiling tiles that absorb too much moisture often fall, creating a risk that people below could be struck.
When the holes in your roof get large enough, you may find yourself with some new room-mates. Insects, rodents and even raccoons can enter your attic and other areas. Raccoons are especially fond of making nests in roofs.
Delayed Roof Repair is Expensive
Expect to pay more for roof repair the longer you wait. Most expensive of all will be replacing your whole roof, which you will have to do if the issues get bad enough. Remember that if you wait, not only will you have to cover the cost of a severely compromised roof but you may also repair other problems in your building that it causes. Other ways that waiting to fix your roof can cost you money include:
Reduced Property Value
When you decide to sell your home or commercial property, you won’t get much for it if there are signs of a roof that needs repair. Any buyer will be wary at the sight of stains and other water damage indicators.
Higher Heating and Cooling Costs
Holes in your roof let cold air in during the winter and cool air out in the summer. Also, your insulation won’t be effective if it is saturated. The result is that your HVAC system has to do more work to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. You will wind up paying more for electricity each month.
On top of all the other issues, insurance may not help you if fail to repair roof damage promptly. Insurance companies don’t pay out if the problem arises from your neglect. Avoid this by fixing issues as soon as you discover them.
How to Check for Roof Damage
Many roof leaks happen out of sight where you might not catch them right away, but you will save money if you find them sooner rather than later. To spot roof damage early on look for signs like:
You may have a leak if you spot shingles that have curled, buckled or gone missing. It indicates that water is getting underneath the shingles, which could cause the wood to rot.
Moisture in the Attic
If you notice a wet spot on the floor of your attic after particularly heavy rains or moisture on your rafters, your roof may be leaking. The attic is often the first place that you will notice water damage. A severe leak can seep through the attic floor into your ceiling below.
Moisture Stains Around Electrical Fixtures
Water stains around outlets and light fixtures can indicate a severe leak.
What You Can do to Limit Roof Damage
A professional can help you to catch roof damage early on before it worsens. Have your roof routinely inspected by a reputable and qualified roofing contractor. Ideally, you should have an inspection performed once a year. If your roofer finds a problem, have them handle it right away.
If you ignore roof problems, they will just get worse. Contact us today via our contact form to get some help.